by Kim Fickett
A shortage of the flu vaccine across the United
States will also make a dramatic impact on Platte
According to Susan Hoskins, emergency response
planner/public information officer for the Platte
County Health Department, the number of vaccines
available for county residents will be cut by
Hoskins stated the health department in 2003
vaccinated 4,000 residents in Platte County with
the flu vaccine. This year, the health department
will have 400 doses to be divided between the
Platte City and Riverside locations.
Were only going to have 10% of last
years vaccine. We were told by our distribution
representative not to expect any further shipments
during this flu season, said Hoskins.
The Platte County Health Department was notified
on Oct. 5, when Chiron, who usually supplies 50
million flu vaccines for the U.S., unexpectedly
announced it wouldnt be supplying Fluvirin
influenza virus vaccine for the 2004-2005 flu
The announcement came after Chiron had its license
suspended by the British government for three
With 100 million flu vaccines normally produced
by Chiron and Aventis Pasteur in a year for the
United States, the shortage now leaves the vaccination
of Americans in one companys hands.
With Chiron shut down, weve effectively
been cut back by half, said Hoskins. You
cant just make more (flu vaccine) because
it takes months to make more.
With Chirons announcement, the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) set guidelines across
the nation about who should receive priority in
receiving the flu shot.
The CDC announced that the flu vaccine will only
be able to be given to adults 65 and over, children
ages 6-23 months, persons age 2-64 years with
a chronic underlying condition, and all women
pregnant during flu season.